We are delighted to invite you to our latest curatorial project, Ladyshark Week, a group exhibition bringing together some of our favorite artists to address one the biggest threats facing the health of world’s oceans today, the rapid mass depletion of sharks. Ladyshark Week opens on August 9, 2013 from 7-10pm and the show will run nightly from August 12-19, 2013 The Gallery Next To The Burgundy Room (1621 N. Cahuenga, Hollywood, CA 90028.)
The exhibit will showcase a collection of shark-themed mixed media, acrylic, neon, and photographic works in the spirit of ocean conservation. Artists featured are Jason Lee Parry, Vanessa Prager, Jenn Porreca, Cody Comrie, Chad Muska, Gregory Siff, Kimberly Kearney, Meryl Pataky, Justin Fry, BB Bastidas, Moüse, Kit Scarbo, Madsteez, Shark Toof and Spencer Keeton Cunningham. Proceeds from sales will benefit PangeaSeed, an international movement uniting and educating individuals across the globe on the importance of protecting sharks and preserving the oceans.
People never fail to ask me why the name – Ladyshark? Where does this obsession with sharks come from? To be completely honest, sharks are pretty much the only thing in life I can say I have always been uncontrollably afraid of. Growing up I would never, ever swim in the ocean.
Throughout the years, I’ve realized that overcoming phobias is perhaps the most empowering process in one’s life, and an essential part of spiritual growth. Nothing holds you back more than fear. The shark has become a symbol of courage and success, and being named “Ladyshark” is my constant reminder to look past what scares me whether it be in love, in friendship or in business.
This past February in Hawaii, Hawaii Shark Encounters offered myself, Laura Austin and the street artist, Shark Toof, a chance to cage dive with two huge Galapagos sharks and look at them straight in the eyes.
The creatures I thought were horrifying have since then become incredibly beautiful. I will soon be getting my diver’s certification and dig even deeper into this newfound mission. Since I’ve started supporting Pangea Seed, I’ve realized how important it is to raise awareness to the global plight of sharks.
For over 450 million years and older than the dinosaurs, surviving 5 major extinctions, sharks have shaped and balanced the delicate ocean ecosystem reigning at the top of the food chain as the ultimate apex predator. But within the last few decades, humans have drastically depleted the oceans of sharks with most governments turning a blind eye to the mass slaughter of the species.
Late to mature and having few offspring, sharks are highly vulnerable to the pressures of overfishing. An estimated 70-100 million sharks are slaughtered annually for their fins to support the growing demand in Asia and Chinatown communities around the world.
As an apex predator, sharks play an important and unique role in the ocean’s ecosystem, sharks keep fish populations in balance ensuring these species do not grow uncontrollably.
The loss of apex predators can cause unforeseen catastrophes on an ecosystem that depend on them.
By saving the sharks, we save the oceans, we save ourselves.
Photography by Laura Austin.
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